US 20080045303 A1 Abstract An apparatus and method for playing a version of a Cubis video game is provided. Using a computer terminal connected to a network, such as, for example, the Internet, a player places a bet. Three faces of a three-dimensional cube are displayed on the computer terminal. Each face includes N squares arranged in a N×N arrangement, where N is a whole number greater than one. For an exemplary embodiment in which N=5, the faces are configured so that there are ten columns of ten squares and five rows of ten squares. One of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, or a bomb symbol is displayed in each of the 75 squares. The computer determines whether any winning combinations are present, and provides a credit to the player according to the winning combination. When either a winning combination or a bomb symbol is present, certain squares are eliminated. Eliminated squares are refilled by shifting the remaining squares and then randomly generating new symbols. The game continues until there are no winning combinations and no bomb symbols.
Claims(26) 1. An apparatus for enabling a player to play a video game, the apparatus comprising an electronic client device, and the electronic client device being in communication with a network server, wherein the electronic client device is configured to:
a) prompt the player to indicate an amount of a bet; b) display a three-dimensional cube, the cube comprising three mutually orthogonal faces, each face comprising N ^{2 }squares arranged in an N×N configuration, wherein N is a whole number greater than 1, wherein each of the squares is selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol, and wherein a number is associated with each multiplier symbol;c) determine which, if any, combinations of squares constitute winning combinations; d) for each combination determined to be a winning combination,
i) provide a predetermined credit to the player, the amount of the predetermined credit being related to the specific winning combination;
ii) eliminate all squares that are part of the winning combination;
iii) shift the remaining squares in a predetermined manner;
iv) replace the empty squares by randomly generating new squares selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol; and
v) repeat steps c and d;
e) for each bomb symbol,
i) eliminate all squares relating to the bomb symbol;
ii) shift the remaining squares in the predetermined manner;
iii) replace the empty squares by randomly generating new squares selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol; and
iv) repeating steps c, d, and e; and
f) when it is determined that there are no winning combinations and when there are no bomb symbols, end the video game. 2. The apparatus of the top-left face and the bottom face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a column of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face, and the top-right face and the bottom face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a column of N squares on the top-right face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face, and the top-left face and the top-right face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a row of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent row of N squares on the top-right face, and wherein a combination of at least three consecutive squares within a single betting line having either a same ordinary symbol or a same ordinary symbol and at least one multiplier symbol constitutes a winning combination. 3. The apparatus of for each of the top-left and top-right faces, a downward shift of each square that is above and in the same column as an eliminated square; and for the bottom face, a leftward shift of each square that is to the right of and in the same row as an eliminated square. 4. The apparatus of 5. The apparatus of 6. The apparatus of 7. The apparatus of 8. The apparatus of 9. The apparatus of 10. The apparatus of 11. The apparatus of 12. The apparatus of 13. The apparatus of 14. The apparatus of 15. The apparatus of 16. A method of conducting a video game over a computer network, the network including a server computer and at least one client computer that is in communication with the server computer, and the method comprising configuring the server computer to execute the steps of:
a) prompting a user to indicate, via the at least one client computer, an amount of a bet; b) displaying on the at least one client computer a three-dimensional cube, the cube comprising three mutually orthogonal faces, each face comprising N ^{2 }squares arranged in an N×N configuration, wherein N is a whole number greater than 1, wherein each of the squares is selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol, and wherein a number is associated with each multiplier symbol;c) determining which, if any, combinations of squares constitute winning combinations; d) for each combination determined to be a winning combination,
i) providing a predetermined credit to the player, the amount of the predetermined credit being related to the specific winning combination;
ii) eliminating all squares that are part of the winning combination;
iii) shifting the remaining squares in a predetermined manner;
iv) replacing the empty squares by randomly generating new squares selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol; and
v) repeating steps c and d;
e) for each bomb symbol,
i) eliminating all squares relating to the bomb symbol;
ii) shifting the remaining squares in the predetermined manner;
iii) replacing the empty squares by randomly generating new squares selected from the group consisting of an ordinary symbol, a multiplier symbol, and a bomb symbol; and
iv) repeating steps c, d, and e; and
f) when it is determined that there are no winning combinations and when there are no bomb symbols, ending the video game. 17. The method of the top-left face and the bottom face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a column of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face, and the top-right face and the bottom face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a column of N squares on the top-right face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face, and the top-left face and the top-right face together form N betting lines, each betting line comprising a row of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent row of N squares on the top-right face, and wherein a combination of at least three consecutive squares within a single betting line having either a same ordinary symbol or a same ordinary symbol and at least one multiplier symbol constitutes a winning combination. 18. The method of for each of the top-left and top-right faces, downwardly shifting each square that is above and in the same column as an eliminated square; and for the bottom face, leftwardly shifting each square that is to the right of and in the same row as an eliminated square. 19. The method of 20. The method of 21. The method of 22. The method of 23. The method of 24. The method of 25. The method of 26. The method of Description 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates generally to a video game. More particularly, the present invention relates to a video game using three cross-interactive playing boards and intended for online play on a computer network. 2. Related Art Video games have been played for many years by recreational players. Often, video games are played at arcades or at places of business, such as restaurants or taverns. Video games may also be played on home video systems, or on personal computers. More recently, video games have been widely played on computers that are connected to a network such as the Internet. In recent years, gambling has become popular in connection with video games, and also in connection with online computer games. Accordingly, the administration of online computer gambling games has become a lucrative business for some providers. In one aspect, the invention provides an apparatus for enabling a player to play a video game. The apparatus includes an electronic client device which is in communication with a network server. The electronic client device is configured to: a) prompt the player to indicate an amount of a bet; and b) display a three-dimensional cube. The cube includes three mutually orthogonal faces. Each face includes N The three mutually orthogonal faces may include a top-left face, a top-right face, and a bottom face. The top-left face and the bottom face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a column of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face. The top-right face and the bottom face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a column of N squares on the top-right face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face. The top-left face and the top-right face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a row of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent row of N squares on the top-right face. A combination of at least three consecutive squares within a single betting line having either a same ordinary symbol or a same ordinary symbol and at least one multiplier symbol may constitute a winning combination. For each of the top-left and top-right faces, the predetermined manner in which the squares are shifted may include a downward shift of each square that is above and in the same column as an eliminated square. For the bottom face, the predetermined manner in which the squares are shifted may include a leftward shift of each square that is to the right of and in the same row as an eliminated square. When a winning combination includes at least one multiplier symbol, the amount of the predetermined credit may be equal to a sum of the numbers associated with each multiplier symbol within the winning combination multiplied by the amount of the predetermined credit for the corresponding combination of at least three squares having the same ordinary symbol with no multiplier symbols. Each ordinary symbol may be selected from the group consisting of a red symbol, a yellow symbol, a brown symbol, a blue symbol, a green symbol, an orange symbol, and a purple symbol. Each multiplier symbol may be selected from the group consisting of X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, and X6. Each bomb symbol may be selected from the group consisting of a cross bomb symbol, a field bomb symbol, and a total bomb symbol. A cross bomb symbol may relate to all squares in each of the two betting lines that contain the cross bomb symbol. A field bomb symbol may relate to all squares in the same face that contains the field bomb symbol. A total bomb symbol may relate to all squares in all three faces. The electronic client device may include a client computer. The client computer may be in communication with the network server via the Internet. The electronic client device may include a client monitor. The monitor may be configured to receive inputs from one or more of a keyboard, a mouse, and a joystick device. In another aspect, the invention provides a method of conducting a video game over a computer network. The network includes a server computer and at least one client computer that is in communication with the server computer. The method includes configuring the server computer to execute the steps of: a) prompting a user to indicate, via the at least one client computer, an amount of a bet; and b) displaying on the at least one client computer a three-dimensional cube. The cube includes three mutually orthogonal faces. Each face includes N The three mutually orthogonal faces may include a top-left face, a top-right face, and a bottom face. The top-left face and the bottom face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a column of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face. The top-right face and the bottom face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a column of N squares on the top-right face and an adjacent column of N squares on the bottom face. The top-left face and the top-right face together may form N betting lines, wherein each betting line includes a row of N squares on the top-left face and an adjacent row of N squares on the top-right face. A combination of at least three consecutive squares within a single betting line having either a same ordinary symbol or a same ordinary symbol and at least one multiplier symbol may constitute a winning combination. The step of shifting the remaining squares in a predetermined manner may include the following: for each of the top-left and top-right faces, downwardly shifting each square that is above and in the same column as an eliminated square; and, for the bottom face, leftwardly shifting each square that is to the right of and in the same row as an eliminated square. When a winning combination includes at least one multiplier symbol, the amount of the predetermined credit may be equal to a sum of the numbers associated with each multiplier symbol within the winning combination multiplied by the amount of the predetermined credit for the corresponding combination of at least three squares having the same color with no multiplier symbols. Each ordinary symbol may be selected from the group consisting of a red symbol, a yellow symbol, a brown symbol, a blue symbol, a green symbol, an orange symbol, and a purple symbol. Each multiplier symbol may be selected from the group consisting of X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, and X6. Each bomb symbol may be selected from the group consisting of a cross bomb symbol, a field bomb symbol, and a total bomb symbol. A cross bomb symbol may relate to all squares in each of the two betting lines that contain the cross bomb symbol. A field bomb symbol may relate to all squares in the same face that contains the field bomb symbol. A total bomb symbol may relate to all squares in all three faces. The client computer may be in communication with the server computer via the Internet. The present invention provides an apparatus and a method for enabling a computer user to play a video game. Referring to The host server Each of the host server The client device Referring to Referring to Importantly, although the exemplary embodiment of At the beginning of a game, each of the 75 squares will contain a symbol. Each symbol belongs to one of three categories: 1) an ordinary symbol; 2) a multiplier symbol; or 3) a “bomb” symbol. The symbols are randomly generated in accordance with a predetermined likelihood for each symbol. Bomb symbols may be indicated, for example, by graphical depictions of bombs, or, referring also to Table 1 below illustrates an exemplary a priori probability chart for each of the symbol types discussed above, including ordinary symbols (referred to by color or as a “diamond” symbol), three types of bomb symbols, and multiplier symbols. In a preferred embodiment, the multiplier symbols are equally likely to appear as any of six multipliers (i.e., X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6).
Thus, in the example illustrated in Table 1, there are eleven different symbol types, and the bonus multiplier symbol may be in any of six positions. The symbol having the highest frequency is yellow, for which there are 1400 possible appearances out of the 4605 total symbols. Thus, for any given square on a game cube, the likelihood that a yellow symbol is displayed is 1400/4605=0.3040, or 30.40%. The respective probabilities for each symbol type can be computed similarly: The likelihood that a red symbol is displayed on a given square is 700/4605=15.20%; the likelihood that an orange symbol is displayed on a given square is 700/4605=15.20%; the likelihood that a purple symbol is displayed on a given square is 600/4605=13.03%; the likelihood that a blue symbol is displayed on a given square is 500/4605=10.86%; the likelihood that a green symbol is displayed on a given square is 400/4605=8.69%; the likelihood that a diamond symbol is displayed on a given square is 240/4605=5.21%; the likelihood that a cross bomb symbol is displayed on a given square is 2/4605=0.04%; the likelihood that a face bomb symbol is displayed on a given square is 2/4605=0.04%; and the likelihood that a total bomb symbol is displayed on a given square is 1/4605=0.02%. The likelihood that a bonus multiplier symbol is displayed on a given square is 60/4605=1.30%, where each of the six possible positions has a likelihood of 10/4605=0.22%. Referring to In In a preferred embodiment, there is a table of relative payouts for different combinations. Table 2 below provides an example of such payouts for a game having the symbol frequency chart of Table 1. Typically, the size of the payout is related to the relative frequency of the type of ordinary symbol and also to the number of squares in the combination. Thus, some types of ordinary symbols may be more or less likely to occur than others, based on the predetermined likelihood used in randomly generating the symbols at the outset of the game; therefore, in general, the less likely the ordinary symbol, the greater the payout for any combination that includes that ordinary symbol. Also, the longer the consecutive string of squares that has the same color, the greater the payout.
Thus, for example, using Table 2 above, if a player has placed a wager of $5 on a particular game, and then the video game cube has one winning combination which is a row of five diamond symbols, the player wins 1000*$5=$5000. If the player has placed a wager of $5 on the game and then the video game cube has two winning combinations, one being a row of three orange symbols and one being a row of four purple symbols, the player wins 2*$5+10*$5=$10+$50=$60. In addition, in a preferred embodiment, the multiplier symbols may be used as payout multipliers, based on the number of the multiplier on the respective multiplier symbol. If more than one multiplier symbol is included in a single winning combination, the numbers of the multipliers may be added together or multiplied together to form the payout multiplier for that combination. So, in In a preferred embodiment, once all winning combinations have been determined, the game continues by eliminating all symbols that were included in any winning combination and then refilling the empty squares. The empty squares are refilled through a two-step process: First, there is a shift of the remaining squares, and then, there is a random regeneration of symbols based on the relative likelihoods, as at the outset. In a preferred embodiment, for each of face A and face B, the shift of squares is downward, from top to bottom; and in the case of face C, when a symbol is eliminated, the shift is from bottom to top, along the same line as the line containing the winning combination. So, for example, referring to Alternatively, referring to When a shift and a random regeneration of new symbols occurs, the newly generated game cube is once again examined for winning combinations. This process may be repeated indefinitely, so long as winning combinations continue to occur. However, typically, there will come a point at which there are no winning combinations—in fact, this may occur in the very first display of the game cube. In the event that there are no winning combinations, the next step is to determine whether there are any bomb symbols present. The significance of a bomb symbol is that when the bomb “explodes”, the bomb has the effect of eliminating itself plus all squares that relate to that bomb. Accordingly, referring to Referring to The game ends when there are no winning combinations and no bomb symbols. Referring to Once the game cube is displayed, a determination is made at step Once the player account has been credited at step In the event that it is determined at step When it is determined at step While the present invention has been described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. To the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, alternative embodiments may include the use of game cubes having faces that each have a three-by-three arrangement of squares, a four-by-four arrangement of squares, a six-by-six arrangement of squares, a seven-by-seven arrangement of squares, and so forth, instead of the five-by-five arrangements described above. In other alternative embodiments, the number of types of colored squares may be varied, and various configurations of squares may be credited as being winning combinations. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions. Referenced by
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